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A History of the Reformation (Vol. 2 of 2)

In remembrance that Christ died for thee


Parliament

reassembled after the Easter recess and passed the Act of Supremacy in its third form, and the Act of Uniformity, which re-enacted, as has been said, the revised Prayer-Book--that is, the Second Book of King Edward VI. with the distinctly specified alterations. The most important of these changes were the two sentences added to the words to be used by the officiating minister when giving the communion. The clauses had been in the First Prayer-Book of Edward VI.

While in the Second Prayer-Book of King Edward the officiating minister was commanded to say while giving the Bread:

_"Take and eat this, in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on Him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving,"_

and while giving the Cup, to say:

_"Drink this in remembrance that Christ's blood was shed for thee, and be thankful;"_

the words were altered in the Elizabethan book to:

_"The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on Him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving;"_

"_The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting

life. Drink this in remembrance that Christ's Blood was shed for thee, and be thankful._"

The additions in no way detracted from the Evangelical doctrine of the Sacrament. They rather brought the underlying thought, into greater harmony with the doctrine of the Reformed Churches. But they have had the effect of enabling men who hold different views about the nature of the rite to join in its common use.

When the Act of Uniformity was passed by Parliament, the advanced Reformers, who had chafed at what appeared to them to be a long delay, were contented. They, one and all, believed that the Church of England had been restored to what it had been during the last year of the reign of Edward VI.; and this was the end for which they had been striving, the goal placed before them by their friend and adviser, Henry Bullinger of Zurich.[563] Their letters are full of jubilation.[564]

Yet there were some things about this Elizabethan settlement which, _if_ interpreted as they have been by some ecclesiastical historians, make it very difficult to understand the contentment of such men as Grindal, Jewel, and Sandys. "Of what was done in the matter of _ornaments_," says Professor Maitland, "by statute, by the rubrics of the Book, and by _Injunctions_ that the Queen promptly issued, it would be impossible to speak fairly without lengthy quotation of documents, the import of which became in the nineteenth century a theme of prolonged and inconclusive disputation."[565] All that can be attempted here is to mention the principal documents involved in the later controversy, and to show how they were interpreted in the life and conduct of contemporaries.


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